Constitutional Law

New gun-control laws are ignored by some sheriffs

Colorado’s new gun-control law won’t be enforced by some sheriffs and will be a low priority for others.

The sheriffs have cited Second Amendment and vagueness concerns regarding the new law, which bans ammunition magazines with more than 15 rounds, the New York Times reports.

“The resistance of sheriffs in Colorado is playing out in other states,” the Times says, “raising questions about whether tougher rules passed since Newtown will have a muted effect in parts of the American heartland, where gun ownership is common and grass-roots opposition to tighter restrictions is high.”

Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County, Colo., has made no secret about his refusal to enforce the law, the story says. In speeches, he holds up two 30-round magazines, saying he acquired one before the law took effect and the second he may have acquired afterwards. “How is a deputy or an officer supposed to know which is which?” he asks.

Fifty-five of Colorado’s 62 elected sheriffs have filed a federal suit challenging the law. A federal judge has allowed the sheriffs to sue in their individual capacities, but not in their official capacities.

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